Parsons Foundation gives $1M to help build National Museum of the Marine Corps

Bob and Renee Parsons. (Submitted photo)

Bob and Renee Parsons. (Submitted photo)

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has presented an unexpected $1 million gift to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

The donation will help fund the final phase of the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ construction, which is scheduled to finish in 2017, according to a press release.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation was established by well-known American entrepreneur Bob Parsons and business executive Renee Parsons. The Foundation serves low-income and underserved populations, marginalized communities and causes often overlooked or underfunded. For Bob Parsons, a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, support of the country’s veterans is critical to the Foundation’s mission.

“It is vitally important to remember and honor the men and women who have served and the sacrifices they make to defend our great country,” said Mr. Parsons, who received the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service.  “Everything that I’ve ever accomplished, I owe to the Corps. Being a Marine made me who I am today.”

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation first supported the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation with a gift designated for the installation of a booby trap exhibit in the Vietnam Gallery.

During the exhibit dedication ceremony, Mr. Parsons honored his squad leader, Cpl. Albert “Barry” George, who was both humbled and surprised by the recognition. While serving in Vietnam, Cpl. George’s squad was instrumental in eliminating 14 enemy soldiers, capturing one soldier and large quantities of enemy supplies and equipment with no loss to their unit. Because of his leadership and actions, Cpl. George was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat “V” for heroic valor in combat.

“We are proud and incredibly grateful to accept this generous donation from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, which helps us further tell the Marine Corps’ story through the Museum,” remarked Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman, Jr., USMC (Ret), President and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “The donation is a reflection of Mr. Parsons’ ongoing commitment to Marines, staying true to the statement ‘Once a Marine, Always a Marine.’”

Construction on the final phase of the museum began in March of 2015. When finished, the additional 114,000 square feet will include historical galleries that tell Marine Corps history from 1976 to the present. It will also include a 369-seat large-format theater, Hall of Valor, art studio and gallery, children’s gallery and Marine Corps Sports gallery, as well as a changing exhibits gallery. All galleries and exhibits will be completed by 2020.

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